The death of a West Des Moines native shocked her family and friends here in the metro as well as those who knew her in Colorado.
Colorado police say they're confident a former co-worker shot and killed 25-year-old Emily Weikert in the parking garage of her Denver area apartment complex Thursday morning.
When police tried to confront the suspect, 51-year-old Robert Lewis, he barricaded himself inside until he eventually killed himself.
Weikert's boyfriend and her father both say they're just as shocked as anyone to hear the news.
“She was just a very beautiful young vibrant girl,” recalls Nick Willette. They met just 6 months ago but Nick says there was just something about her.
“The best part of your day was when you were hanging out with Emily.”
Emily's friends from her home state say the same thing. “She lived life to the fullest and was always happy she always had a smile on her face. Emily and Alicia Tegtmeyer met during their freshman year at Iowa State.
They became best friends instantly. Emily was even the bridesmaid in her wedding.
“She meant the world to both of us so that was one of the reasons she cared for him just as much as I did.”
Emily was back in Iowa for the holidays.
Her dad Rob Weikert spoke with the Denver Post. He took Emily to the airport Christmas day and said, "at the airport, I shed a tear and gave her a hug, and that's the last I ever saw her."
Two days later, he got a knock on his door.
"It’s not supposed to happen like this. It's a parent's worst nightmare,"
Police had to break the news that Emily was shot and killed Thursday morning.
Investigators say the gunman was Robert Lewis whom had just been fired for harassing her at CoBank.
Her dad said "we didn't know anything about this idiot, we thought we had her in a good place."
“When I found out it felt like my heart ripped in half,” says boyfriend, Nick, “you know we were just getting started.”
A young love, a young life, gone.
Successful at work, she could have been a lot of things but to her friends, her family and Nick, Emily will always be the reason life was just a little brighter.
“She brought out the best in people and anyone who had the opportunity to know her was better because of it,” says friend, Alicia.
The suspects' family members also issued a statement today saying they're devastated and struggling for answers.
"Our hearts go out to you in your suffering and anguish over the devastating loss of your special daughter and loved one. Words cannot express the extent of our sympathy to your family. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. May we all eventually receive some peace and comfort."